Do’s and Don’ts of Collecting Box Tops for Education

Posted on: July 15th, 2015 by
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Hefty4BoxTops #CollectiveBias


How do you throw out your trash?


I know what you’re thinking. You just toss trash in the can or recyclables in their proper container and don’t think much about it. Maybe you check to see if it’s recyclable but once it’s in the trash you don’t think about it again.


Unless you’re like me.


For the past four years, I have been the Box Tops Coordinator for my boys’ school. Nothing goes into our Hefty trash bags without me first inspecting the container or wrapper for any potential Box Tops for Education. Throwing away a Box Top is like throwing away cash… DON’T DO IT!


Hefty box


Did you know that every valid Box Top is worth ten cents?


With the support of our school community I imagine we turn in the equivalent of 5 full Hefty kitchen trash bags every year. That’s thousands of dollars each year for our school’s Parent Teacher Organization. It’s unrestricted funds that our school can use for school materials and programs. Bonus even the boxes of Hefty trash bags have Box Tops on them, they are the only trash bags that support the Box Top program.


Over the years, I estimate I have counted and inspected tens of thousands of Box Tops. Next to people not turning them in at all, there are a few mistakes people make that I admit drive me a little nuts. Every invalid Box Top is another missed opportunity to earn a dime for our school. I want every school to be able to maximize how much they can raise by collecting Box Tops, which is $20,000a year. To do that, I want to help you as much as I can. Take a look at these do’s and don’ts of collecting Box Tops for Education and please comment below if you have any questions.


Do's and Don't of Collecting Box Tops


Do’s and Don’ts of Collecting Box Tops

  • Looking for Hefty BagsDO check packages when you shop. For example, when we purchased our Hefty kitchen trash bags at Walmart, some packages had one Box Top, but others had more. Sometimes the variety of a particular brand or its size might affect how many Box Tops are on it or if it is a participating product. If you are buying a product that participates, you want to make sure you grab the packages WITH the Box Top.


  • DO inspect ALL packaging when opening and throwing out packaging. Box Tops aren’t just on foods like cereal. They are on Hefty trash bags boxes, sandwich bags boxes, the plastic wrap of toilet paper packages, etc. They are on the plastic containers of jelly, butter, the plastic bag of celery, and the plastic/paper wrap of copy paper.


  • DO ask others to help you. Think about who is in your community that doesn’t have kids in school. Ask them to collect Box Tops for you to turn in. Grandparents, older adults, college students all of these people can play an important role in your school’s Box Tops for Education program.


  • DO turn them in often. Schools can submit their Box Tops year-round and receive checks twice a year. As a coordinator, it’s easier to count and send in monthly submissions than counting thousands the night before a deadline.


  • DON’T turn in expired Box Tops. Unfortunately, that Box Top that you just found that expired in 2009 or even the one that expired at the end of last month DOESN’T COUNT. Box Tops generally expire on the first of the month. Be sure to get yours in EARLY so your coordinator has time to send them in before they expire.


Expired vs Nonexpired Box Tops


  • DON’T turn in the logo image. On some packaging it’s very obvious that it has Box Tops to submit, but the logo is not submittable. What you want to cut out is the box that shows the dotted or solid line around it.


  • DON’T staple them together. The Box Tops can be rubberbanded, placed in plastic bags or envelopes or glued to collection sheets when turned in, but they can’t be permanently attached to each other. Counters at Box Tops for Education need to be able to see each individual Box Tops for Education.


  • DO cut the Box Top out correctly. If the expiration date or any of the other coding on it is missing, it’s invalid and the school can’t turn it in.


Correct vs missing info box top


  • DO register your grocery store shopper cards with the Box Tops program. Many stores, like Shoprite have a program linked with Box Tops that lets you earn DOUBLE Box Tops on items you purchase. You earn one when the register rings up your sale and AGAIN when you send in your Box Tops.


  • DO check sales flyers and the Catalina coupons from grocery stores. Many times there are promotions where you can earn additional Box Tops when you purchase so many selected items in one transaction. Again as a coordinator, it’s quite thrilling to see those Catalina slips come in with 25 or sometimes 50 Bonus Box Tops.


  • DO register with the Box Tops for Education site. Each month they offer extra ways to earn Box Tops for Education.


  • DO look for bonus offers. From time to time, some products have not just one Box Top on it but bonus ones. You might see it listed as an additional voucher for so many Bonus Box Tops or multiple Box Tops squares on it. Cut them out!!! Right now for a limited time (Back to School time), Hefty Odor Block® Scented Trash Bags in either the scented varieties of Clean Citrus or Lavender Vanilla have FOUR Box Tops each. I mean you need trash bags anyway… why not stock up one ones that can give back so much to your kid’s school?


Hefty Trash Bags with Bonus Box Tops


  • Here’s a bonus DO. If you are turning in many Box Tops, DO group the regular Box Tops in sets of 50. When school coordinators send in Box Tops, they are required to package them in groups of 50. Anything you can do to help that helps your school volunteers.


The Hefty brand has raised more than $3 million in contributions to schools by partnering with Box Tops For Education.


I am so thankful for Hefty’s support of our schools through their participation in the Box Tops for Education program. I know it means a lot to my boys’ school and the schools in each of our communities.


Now that you’re ready to go with these do’s and don’ts of collecting Box Tops, I want to know one thing.

How many Hefty kitchen trash bags of Box Tops do you think your school will collect this year?


This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Hefty4BoxTops #CollectiveBias


Posted in: All, Parenting Help

Tagged as: ,

Jennifer Auer is the hyperlocal mom blogger who runs Jersey Family Fun. From New Jersey, this mom of 3 boys just can’t sit still! Her husband likes to say she’s a work-at-home mom who never stays home. Jennifer started traveling as a child and hasn’t stopped since. Instead of letting her husband and boys slow her down, she brings them along! As her boys transition from tweens to teens there’s still so many places she wants to discover with them both across the U.S. and internationally. She has been a Jersey Girl for 35+ years, and a Jersey Mom for 15+ years and a New Jersey mom blogger for 10 years, although she'd much rather be referred to as an influencer or just by name. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus on Entrepreneurship from Bryant University in Rhode Island.

2 thoughts on “Do’s and Don’ts of Collecting Box Tops for Education

  1. Michelle says:

    I LOVE finding the extra Box Tops offers. I buy products just because they have them (or at least I’ll switch brands to do it). Sadly, I realized this summer my zip top bags don’t get used enough. I actually HAVE several boxes with tops still on them that expired in 2009. Oops.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.